Q & A with Amberjack Publishing

AJ: “What inspired you to write this book? Was there a defining moment where you said to yourself, ‘I’m going to write a book about this,’ or did the story unfold more gradually as you wrote?”
BM: “A song put the idea in my head of this girl being uncontrollably engulfed in flames, but somehow being the source. So I wrote that scene out, then every few days I would look at it and expand the scene. Then I had my character, and the story unfolded fast.”
AJ: “Did you encounter writer’s block at any point? What helped you push through?”
BM: “I hit a block during the editing after being accepted for publishing, because what I had strung together were just the ideas that I’d tried to glue together. So when I was told ‘Hey we love this, could you give us a little more?’ it was a little overwhelming and I would just stare at a blank Word document for hours waiting for the characters to tell me what to do. My wonderful editor helped me push through by reminding me that if it didn’t work, she’d help. Then she ended up loving what I came up with.”
AJ: “Describe your perfect writing environment. Where was most of this book written?”
BM: “I can write anywhere if I have headphones, but I prefer to be in my living room with a television show quietly in the background. I’ll have moments where I’m stuck so I’ll watch TV and be entertained, then an emotion will hit me and then I’ll go off of that. I can see emotions on people’s faces without hearing the dialogue and think ‘Chad would be angry, too, right now. Talk about his anger’”.
AJ: “Are your characters inspired by people you have known in your life?”
BM: “Chad and Chelsea are both characters that take elements from people I know. I designed Chad’s appearance after my husband, and Chelsea after what I always felt his twin sister would look like. However, after that, their personalities are their own. I don’t choose what they do or say, they do when I write. I can only stage the environment, not how they react. Haley, however, is entirely modeled off of myself, down to personality.”
AJ: “What plans do you have for the next book in the series?”
BM: “The next book will let readers fully delve into the elemental world. They’ll see the on goings of a whole other world that we only got hints at in the first novel. The non-elemental world will be left behind so that we can learn about how elementals think.”
AJ: “What was your biggest struggle when writing FIRE?”
BM: “Creating a background and history for the elementals proved to be the single most difficult thing in the whole process. I only know the main characters, they walk around in my head and tell me what to write, but their origins? That’s a whole other story.”
AJ: “How long did it take you to complete the manuscript from start to finish?”
BM: “The original manuscript took 18 months. With editing after submission, almost two years.
AJ: “Did you ever think you would finish it and become published?”
BM: “I knew that I would finish it, but I never thought it would be published. I was always sure that it wasn’t good enough or that no one would enjoy the story like I did.”
AJ: “What advice do you have for other authors that want to write books in this genre?”
BM: “Write, write, write! Even if it is never picked up, who cares? Still write! I have over 70+ rejection letters from other publishers, and I had given up. But I still wrote in my spare time because I enjoyed writing.”
AJ: “Describe your book in three words.
BM: “Exciting. Different. Awesome.”
AJ: “What were your favorite and least favorite parts to write?”
BM: “My favorite: the scene where Blaze finally opens up and we see a new side of him. My least favorite: I can’t say, it would spoil a key point to the book. Just know that Chad does something unthinkable and after I wrote the scene I was like ‘what the heck just happened?’”
AJ: “What will you do next?”
BM: “Keep on writing in my spare time and try to get another book published.”